Thursday, July 29, 2004
DA MONTEREY CODE…City codes were made to be broken, right? Like those silly laws banning ice cream and high heels and closed curtains. Oh, and that ridiculous one from the city of Monterey about conflict of interest. Squid staunchly maintains that conducting government business on the up-and-up is highly overrated, not to mention no fun at all.
Which is why Squid was sorely disappointed upon reading the Monterey Planning Commission’s annotated agenda from July 13. According to Community Development Director Bill Wojtkowski’s report, “Dan Fletcher was appointed to the Architectural Review Committee but due to concerns with Government Code Section 1090, Mr. Fletcher made the decision to step down. Mr. Wojtkowski said he wants to make sure the Commissioners all understand the limitations of Code 1090 which prevents them from serving on Commissions that would review projects they are under contract to the city on [sic].”
Wise decision by Fletcher—an architect hired by the City to design the planned new Public Service Center.
According to public facilities manager Carl Anderson, the city entered into a joint contract with two firms, Redding-based NMR Architects, and Fletcher and Hardoin Architects. The contract totals a whopping $1,510,236. But, Anderson says, all of this money does not go straight to the architects. They’ve got to pay subcontractors, engineers, consultants and all of those other builder types. “So it’s really difficult to say how much Dan will get.” Probably not the full $1.5 million.
Sure it’s a stretch, but if Squid lets Squid’s vision blur just a bit, Squid can see how the City wouldn’t want Fletcher reviewing his own project.
HOUSES OF THE HOLY…So much for public servitude. Squid remembers the good old days, when Squid’s state legislators were only a phone call away. Sigh. Now, a 10-minute phoner with Assemblyman Simón Salinas requires Squid to jump through hoops while tap dancing and juggling fire torches. And sometimes those wily assembly aides also make Squid sing—usually D’Yer Maker. They must be Led Zeppelin fans—just for kicks.
Okay, so Squid exaggerates a wee bit. But lately, it’s become a royal pain to talk to Salinas. The last couple times Squid’s fellow Weekly scribes have called the Assemblyman’s office for one little quote, they’ve been given quite the runaround, and were told they have to follow some new protocol. The district office will first fax the newsroom a “request for interview” form, asking what the reporter wants to talk to Salinas about, what the reporter’s deadline is, what number the Assemblyman can reach the reporter at, what size shoe the reporter wears and the like. Meanwhile, said reporter’s deadline has passed, and generally the story has already hit the streets. Efficient? Not.
Darlene Dunham, who manages the Salinas district office, agrees. No new policy at Salinas’ district office, she says. It must have been some misunderstanding. It won’t happen again. And just when Squid was about to wow ‘em with Squid’s version of Stairway to Heaven.